The Aberdare Range is within the Aberdare National Park in Kenya. Aberdare National Park is home to some of Kenya’s best moorland hiking trails. Aberdares trails are good preparation hikes, particularly if one plans to climb Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, or Ruwenzori peaks. High altitude adds them to the list of the most challenging trails in Kenya. However, natural beauty and the splendor of distinct vegetation, indigenous trees, forest covers, Waterfalls, and rocks formation make Aberdares one of Kenya’s most beautiful places.
The Aberdare Range straddles Nyandarua, Nyeri, Muranga Kiambu, and Laikipia counties. In brief, the Aberdare range is about 160 km long. Notably, the mountain range has elevations between 3200 meters above sea level and 4100 meters AMSL. Hence, it makes it one of Kenya’s highest ranges when measured by average height in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit, depending on how you look at things! The Agikuyu people who live within its borders refer to this wonderland as “Nyandarua.”
Topology of Aberdare Range
The Range forms a section of the eastern rim of the Great Rift Valley, running roughly north to south. The west side falls steeply into Lake Naivasha and then Mau Escarpment, while the east slope is more gentle with views from peaks like Mount Kenya at 12 km. Mount Longonot is in the distance at 2 800 meters above sea level.
Aberdare range is home to a diverse and unique set of wildlife. Mammals such as elephants, buffalo, and giant forest hogs are abundant on the eastern slopes. In contrast, other mammals like serval cats or leopards roam freely through these forested areas, with an occasional civet spotted here and there for good measure. Bats hang upside down from tree branches at night though most are nocturnal, so they may not always see you snuggled up under your comforter reading about how amazing bats are.
Aberdares National Park is home to the best hiking trails in Kenya. Aberdare trails are good preparation hikes, particularly if one plans to climb Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, or Ruwenzori peaks. High altitude adds them to the list of the most challenging trails in Kenya. However, natural beauty and the splendor of distinct vegetations, indigenous trees, forest covers, Waterfalls, and rocks formation make Aberdare one of Kenya’s most beautiful places. Waterfalls are all over the Aberdares and its ranges. As they roar with might, thrashing over the rocks. You will end up be-waterfalling-in-love with the scenery.
The Moorland and the alpine form a great source of major rivers that flow from Aberdares. Athi and Tana rivers drain into the Indian Ocean. Similarly, Ewaso Nyiro flexes to the Lorian Swamp, and River Malewa flows into Lake Naivasha. The famed Dragons teeth is an excellent spot for Rock climbers and magical views for films. The altitude is high and hence requires more climbing time. Time is of great essence; for this reason, it’s wise to travel early morning when attempting any of the Aberdare trails. Firstly, hikers need to have tried other short and more accessible trekking tracks. Importantly, before engaging Aberdare trails to build endurance and acclimatization connections. The following are must-do trails of the Aberdare ranges.
Seven Best Moorland Hiking Trails in Kenya
Mount Satima 4001 meters (13126.6ft)
Mount Satima Aberdares Trail- the Third Highest Mountain in Kenya
Ol donyo Lesatima is the third-highest mountain in Kenya. Besides, it’s also the highest peak in the Aberdare ranges, at 4001 Meters above sea level. Mount Kenya takes the lead with 5199 Masl, followed by Mount Elgon at 4,321M. Mount Satima gets its name from a Maasai word, Ol Donyo Lesatima, translating to the mountain of the bull calf. Satima is an excellent spot for Hiking, Camping, and Rock Climbing in the famed Dragons Teeth Valley area. It has three significant entrances: Shamata Gate, Mutubio Gate, and Wandare Gate. Wandare Gate I the most accessible for now.
Mount Kinangop, Aberdare Range Trail 3,907 metres (12,815.5 ft)
Also known as Ilkinangop, located in the southern Aberdare parent Range, about 160 km north of Nairobi, Kenya. It’s the second-highest mountain in the Aberdare ranges. Also the fourth-highest mountain in Kenya. Proper gears, great endurance, strict timekeeping, and management behavior are paramount when attempting this mountain.
Rurimeria Hill Moorland Trail 3,860m with an altitude of 12664 ft
Seven Ponds, Aberdares Trail Kenya 3,840 m 12598.4, 14 kilometers
The trail stretches for 14 Kilometers with an elevation of 3840 Metres. Mikeu Secondary School is the start and finishing point if you are not doing a Transverse. Seven ponds Aberdare Trail strategically Straddle between the Table Mountain and Rurimeria hill trails. This trail is one of the best attempts, Particularly if you plan to try high-elevation mountains like Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro. Seven Ponds’ attempt allows a hiker to affirm agility and acclimatization connection. As you approach the summit, it is flat. Hence, not as challenging to get to its Flat peak, where the ponds spread with stunning beauty.
Table Mountain Aberdares 3781metres 12405 ft, 8.46 Kilometres
The Elephant Hill hike is, without a doubt, the most popular trail in the Aberdare Range. The Elephant Hill hike earns different reactions from hikers that dare to attempt it. Some say it is Kenya’s most treacherous and challenging trail, while others say it’s all overrated. Find out why the elephant hill hike is the most sought trail in Kenya. If you plan to hike elephant hill, it is paramount to get this information beforehand.
Mount Kipipiri 3,349 m 10987.5 ft
Mt Kipipiri is a dormant volcano in the Wanjohi Valley, on Kinangop Plateau near Aberdares. It’s about 32 km northeast of Lake Naivasha & has plenty of wildlife. The list of wildlife species includes Colobus and Sykes monkeys, elephants, buffalo, and a wide range of birds. Join Wildsprings Adventures this Saturday for a hiking experience and explore what lies beneath.